Part the Two Hundred Fourteenth: The Desperate Passage
Hope recovered first and pressed Charity, “So how did you get here, from the middle of the ocean?”
“We were trés avoir de la chance, I feel. We had spent the night awake and scared, even Osei, who never showed fear. Even then, he refused to cry like I did, but in his eyes, you could see it.
“So when the dawn came and a small fishing boat happened upon us, we were elated. The two fishermen aboard, they spotted us in the water and came.”
“To rescue you,” Hope noted.
“For salvage, they admitted, seeing the gaff and thinking there’d be other goods nearby to seize. And when they found us, they started to have plans.
“After they dragged us aboard, barely alive, they discussed what to do with us. They thought Osei might fetch a good price from a slave trader, and debated whether Goddard would be worth the trouble of keeping alive or killing him right there.”
“And your fate?” Hope asked.
Charity just glared at Hope.
“Isn’t it always with some men? So how did you escape?”
“As the moments went by, they let their guard down thinking we were not going to offer any trouble. When a storm came up, they turned their attention to getting their craft to shore.
“It was during the height of the storm that Osei took care of them. He either had more reserves of strength than any man could have called forth, or he rested faster than any man alive. In either case, he needed very few blows to do away with them.”
“Armed with what?” Hope asked.
“His bare hands. I never knew how deadly a man could be until I watched him dispense with these fishermen as a farmer would provide for dinner, tuer un poulet.”
“Just his hands?”
Charity tried to show how he murdered them using her hands.
“Grisly,” Hope concluded.
“Sadly, we were not out of trouble yet. The storm was quite rough, and we nearly went down in it. Their boat was not so good to begin with, you see, and had we not found land when we did we might have perished.
“None of us are boat builders, but we came up with ways to keep her afloat just a little longer after a few moments ashore. We followed the coast, guessing we were close to Port Royal, until le bateau could sail no more. She went down a few feet from shore, close enough that we were able to find the bottom and walk to land.”
“And now? Where are Goddard and Osei?”
“They have taken hospitality with the boucaniers of Bull Bay, offering their services in exchange for food and shelter. They wait to hear from me, as I took passage with one of them who came to town to trade, to make sure that it is safe.”
“If by safe, if you mean if anyone is missing the fishermen,” said Hope, “then no, not that I’m aware of. There could be a battle on the streets and no one would bat an eye. They could come with the butchers any time they wish.”
“So what happened to you, mon amie ? I shared what I have, so now it is your turn, no?”
“Very well,” Hope started her tale…
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